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Celebrate Deepavali with these Fun At-Home Maths Activities

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Early Education experts let us know how to make math fun with creative at-home activities that also celebrate Deepavali, the Festival of Lights.

Remember when Math was fun, mama? Counting bags of blacksheep wool, seeing how many times we could skip rope, or singing about monkeys jumping on the bed – we didn’t even realise we were building numeracy skills. Which got us thinking, how can we keep math fun for our kids?

The pros at The Australian International School (AIS) have shared some simple hands-on activities and projects to introduce your pre-schooler to the wonderful world of mathematics, building a crucial foundation in numeracy skills and encouraging young children to reason and problem solve, supporting inquiry into the world around them.

At the moment, The Hindu festival of Deepavali offers an excellent way to combine the world of numbers with building cultural awareness. Kirsti Hitz-Morton, Assistant Head of the Early Years Centre and Curriculum Coordinator at AIS, explains that mathematical concepts in the Early Years include measurement, space and shape, pattern, function and numbers. She recommends the following at-home, Deepavali-themed activities to give your child a head start.

Count, compare and measure away, mama!

deepavali laddoos

Counting with Coconuts

Measuring ingredients is a great way of getting your child to understand the concepts of “less” and “more.” Our yummy Laddoos (sweet coconut treats) recipe will enable your child to measure out coconut and condensed milk. Through the recipe get them to measure different volumes. For instance, half a cup versus a full cup, a spoonful versus two full spoons, etc.

Ask your child to measure out a cup of desiccated coconut and half a cup of condensed milk. Mix the condensed milk with the coconut in a bowl and make small balls by rolling the mixture in your palms. Roll the laddoos into dry coconut to bind them. The mess is half the fun!

Collection of hundreds of Free Rangoli Designs from all over the world.

Learning shapes with Rangoli patterns

Looking out for shapes around the house is a great way for your child to learn that shapes are everywhere! For instance, the bathroom tiles are square, and plates and clocks are round. Encourage them to get creative with some colourful rangoli — the Indian folk art of making designs with coloured powder or flowers.

Grab some chalk and coloured flour or flowers and ask your child to choose a pattern (click here for inspiration on patterns or materials): draw a circle, a star or create any pattern of your choice using the chalk. Fill the pattern with the coloured flour or flowers. Choosing a rangoli pattern to replicate reinforces a key mathematical concept of patterns.

deepavali diya pots

Learning to group with Diyas

An important mathematical skill is the ability to sort out objects into groups based on their qualities. Make your own diya, a traditional oil pot of India, and ask your toddler to sort them into different groups depending on the colour. All the reds go in one group and the yellows in another. How about if you put the little diyas in one group and the large diyas in another group?


When children become competent users the language of mathematics, they can begin to use it as a way of thinking, as opposed to seeing it as a series of facts and equations. This philosophy, derived from the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), is core to the development of mathematics at AIS. Check out the enhanced Australian curriculum commencing in January that includes daily maths to strengthen young learners’ skills alongside the Accelerated Literacy Program, weekly violin lessons, weekly LAMDA Speech and Drama Program and structured physical education incorporating SMART Steps, a perceptual motor program.

Book a book a personal tour or join the open house tomorrow, Friday, 6 November, mama!

Australian International School, 1 Lorong Chuan Singapore 556818, Tel: (+65) 6883 5155,

Australian International School Pte Ltd is registered by the Council for Private Education. CPE Registration Number 199204405H. Period of Registration 6 July, 2015 to 5 July, 2019.

Image #1, #2 and #3 sourced via Pinterest.  Brought to you in partnership with AIS

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